As a Southerner, I remember pulling honeysuckle flowers from the vine, flipping them over, grabbing the little green nub, and pulling out the stamen. The nectar of the flower sticks to the silky filament using the anther as a dredge and provided just a drop to taste (forgive me if my armchair botany is incorrect). My sister and I would break down honeysuckle until our parents told us we had to go home or until we just got bored with all the work for the tiny payoff. It’s a tradition down here.
Cathead Honeysuckle is a fine compromise of my childhood in Alabama and my adulthood reviewing vodkas. The juxtaposition of memories and the present is well balanced. There must be a delicate balance to merge youthful memories with grown-up vices, and Cathead Honeysuckle does it flawlessly. The honeysuckle is not very pronounced. It peaks through just enough to remind you that this isn’t just vodka, almost like a wispy memory of summers long past. While the vodka is 35% ABV, taking a quick swig has payoffs for me both in memory and in a good shot of vodka.
Given the sugar content, I wouldn’t drink this vodka straight over other unflavored vodkas, but it’s certainly delicious.
A guy named Pat Floyd joined Cathead back in 2011. Sometime in the years after, a drink called The Pat Floyd got on my radar. It’s comprised of Cathead Honeysuckle and white cranberry with a wedge of lime. I’ve only had it at a bar in Birmingham and at my sisters wedding a few years back. This seemed to be the precisely perfect cocktail for this vodka. So much so that there is no reason for me to explore it further. The vodka was made for this specific combination of ingredients.
Unfortunately, white cranberry juice is really hard to find. If you can find it, make this drink. If not, try Pale Eddies on 2nd Ave N in Birmingham. They make an excellent one.
While I do have some personal regrets drinking a 35% ABV vodka with added sugar, this one really peaks my childhood memories. It tastes great and, if you follow my advice, has an unbeatable cocktail to go with it. You might not want to get a bottle, but definitely grab some any time you find yourself at a bar.